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The Scoot Airlines experience

Updated: Mar 27

In my excitement to fly a low-cost 787 flight, I conveniently overlooked the fact that Scoot is a low-cost carrier.


The Scoot Airlines experience
Getting ready to board my Scoot flight.

Over the past several years, on my travels in Asia, I have noticed Scoot Airlines’ Boeing Dreamliners, with their playful, yellow livery (that's the paint job, no onions. . . and now I'm getting hungry).


In addition to being a discount air carrier that flies one of my favorite airplanes, it’s one that is owned by one of my favorite national carriers – Singapore Airlines. So, given the opportunity, I hastily booked a round-trip from Narita to Bangkok as an extension to a longer trip to the continental United States.


To be sure, my Scoot experience aboard the plane was pretty good, and I’ll speak about that in a bit. But more to the point of this article - in my excitement to fly an inexpensive 787 flight, I conveniently overlooked the fact that Scoot is a low-cost carrier, with many of the trappings that come with this category of airline. From the outset, I should explain that I have no objection to the discount carrier business model. I like the idea of starting with an inexpensive flight and having the option of paying for the other components of the trip that I need, i.e., baggage, food, etc. But, it is important to remember that the discount comes with these restrictions, or you may, like me, be a bit disappointed.


On my return to Tokyo's Narita International Airport, I was informed that Scoot could not check my bags through to my final destination. It was further explained that I was “required” to go through immigration, retrieve my suitcase, clear customs, and then take an inter-terminal bus to check into my next flight. As a consequence, the usual allowance of two hours between international flights was in jeopardy of being too thin. The possibility that I would miss my next flight made for a greatly diminished Dreamliner experience and a nail-biting wait for my bag to come off the baggage carousel.


Other practices associated with discount airlines are that the tickets are normally non-refundable, there are significant baggage number and weight restrictions and you pay for food, drinks, and other amenities. Scoot will "upsell" you to get around the baggage and food issues, but even my ScootBiz (that’s their business class) ticket wasn’t immune from the no-refund policy. In addition to offering heavier or more baggage, Scoot allows you to purchase on-board wifi, play on your device entertainment, premium seating with more legroom, and a first for me, pay to juice your electronics.


Besides these “typical” low-cost carrier characteristics, I found the Scoot cabin crew (known as Scooties - I'm not making that up) to be friendly and helpful. My pre-ordered meals were Nasi Lemak and Makhani Chicken, which were coach class quality, but were nevertheless a nice change from the normal chicken or fish options.


I also found Scoot’s flight schedule to be pretty convenient for an LCC. And, like Southwestern Airlines in the U.S., I like the predominance of secondary airports on Scoot’s routes.


So, if you’re looking for reasonably priced, point-to-point travel, with no short layovers between Scoot legs and those flown on other carriers, I recommend Scoot to get you around Asia and between Hawaii and Asia. If baggage weight restrictions pose a problem, or you expect to have other carriers as part of your voyage, I’d suggest avoiding the disappointment and stress I experienced by sticking with the air carrier to which you pledge your loyalty (or one of their alliance partners).


(The photo, such that it is, was taken by me. All rights reserved.)


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